We made no secret of the fact that one of our favorite experiences at Toy Fair 2014 came from our time with the folks at Zing Toys. Among all of the products we got to try out at their booth, there was one item in particular that impressed the heck out of us—the humble Sky Ripperz rockets with Rip Zip launcher. This modestly-priced toy is claimed to have a 250’+ firing distance, with nothing more than a pull of a bungee loop and a flick of the wrist for propulsion. Naturally, we could hardly wait to verify this ourselves.
With summer finally upon us, and a holiday weekend at-hand, the arrival of a small package from our friends at Zing earlier this week came just in time. Here, finally, was our chance to test out the Sky Ripperz for ourselves. And we’re happy to report, the Sky Ripperz and Rip Zip Launcher is everything we had hoped, and more. In fact, it could be the most fun we’ve had with a toy this simple in a very, very long time!
The Water Warriors Colossus 2 from Buzz Bee Toys is, as its name would imply, a follow-up to the first-generation Colossus released in 2012, the original version of which was one of the biggest water blasters to ever hit the market. Both that original Colossus and this second-generation model are unique in having an individual air pressure chamber, a 3-position nozzle, huge water reservoirs, and a claimed range of 40 feet. They also share controversial styling, questionable ergonomics, and a few gimmicky features.
There’s no question that in the eyes of many consumers, “bigger is better.” And with packaging that boldly proclaims “Blasts up to 40 ft.; Holds up to 74 oz. of water; Around 6 ½ pounds when filled,” Buzz Bee is banking on superlatives to make the Colossus 2 the king of the water blaster jungle. But when you go beyond the marketing bullet points, does the big boy actually deliver?
The new-for-2014 Nerf Super Soaker Hydrostorm is the latest in the “Storm” series of battery-powered Super Soaker products released by Hasbro since 2011. It seeks to improve on its forebears by being highest performing motorized Super Soaker to-date. We gathered-up our crew and headed out to a local park to see if this newest entry in the long history of motorized water guns would live up to its billing.
As implied by the use of “Storm” in its name, the Hydrostorm is part of Hasbro’s motorized water gun line-up. And in this case, that means six (6) “AA” batteries are required for operation. This is two more batteries than had been required by what might be considered its predecessor, the somewhat underwhelming Super Soaker Thunderstorm. Having grown-up on Entertech water guns from the 80s, we’re no strangers to motorized water toys, and their mostly disappointing performance. We were excited, therefore, to see if the Hydrostorm could finally make motorized water blasting competitive.
We put down the blasters and let our legs do the work this time.
One of our absolute favorite stops at Toy Fair 2014 in NYC was the Zing Toys booth. These guys know how to have fun, and that joie de vivre was evident in every product we tried. We were quite eager, therefore, to get some extended hands-on time with their products to see if we would have as much fun with their air and elastic band-powered devices in our own backyard as we did at their fun-filled booth. And fortunately for us, a nice box of Zing goodies arrived on our doorstep late last week.
To kick-off our Zing extravaganza, we decided to go right for the largest items in the box—a pair of X6 Zoom Rocketz Six-Shooter Launchers, the “first-ever auto-rotating, multi-shooting Zoom Rocketz.” So, we hopped in our cars and headed over to a local park to see what kind of rapid-fire fun could be had when a group of half-a-dozen, fully-grown adults pounded away on a toy designed for audiences half our age.
A sneak preview of the “Digital Shooting Playground” in action!
As we exclusively announced via Reddit a few weeks ago, XnTouch, makers of the SNIPE “Digital Shooting Playground,” are preparing to launch a Kickstarter campaign in mid-May to help get SNIPE into production. And while we’re awaiting the official campaign launch announcement, we thought we’d go ahead and share an exclusive video of the guys at XnTouch testing both a demo app and a beta version of the SNIPE touch darts!
Super Soaker, the water gun brand that many kids and teenagers grew up with in the 90s, has had its share of controversy of late, with current owner Hasbro, Inc. both losing lawsuits and winning them over the products’ brand and technology, respectively. Nonetheless, the Super Soaker name has survived, even if today’s products share little in common with the blasters of our childhood. And just as fortunately, despite the changes in technology, design, and branding, the Super Soaker name still guarantees a good soaking. As proof, we present the formidable “Double Drench.”
Don’t let the stocky appearance of the new for 2014 Super Soaker Double Drench fool you—it packs a punch that belies its relatively diminutive size. In fact, as a close-quarters water weapon, the Double Drench answers the call like few other water guns we’ve tried.
Every now and then a blaster comes along that redefines your expectations of how a modern foam-launching toy gun should look, feel and operate. And while the Buzz Bee Air Warriors Extreme Air Max 6 is not the largest, nor most expensive product in the “Extreme” product line-up from Mt. Laurel, NJ-based Buzz Bee Toys, it may nonetheless prove to be one of the most enjoyable.
There have been no shortage of flywheel, spring and plunger-based foam launchers from Nerf and other companies in the toy blaster category of late, but true, air-powered models are becoming something of a rarity (the Nerf Unity Power System being a single, aging exception). It was with some excitement, then, that in addition to the air-powered, pump-action Range Master sent by our friends at Buzz Bee, we also were sent the considerably smaller Air Max 6. And like venerable trope of Goldilocks and her three furry friends, we quickly came to find the Air Max to be neither too large, nor too small, but altogether quite right.